AgSouth Farm Credit to merge with Carolina Farm Credit
On May 25, Carolina Farm Credit and AgSouth Farm Credit jointly announced their intention to pursue a merger. Under the terms of the Letter of Intent (LOI), which was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both associations, the combined entity would form the largest ag lending cooperative in the Southeast. Based on the two associations’ current portfolios, the merged entity would begin with over $4.2 billion in gross loan volume serving more than 24,800 stockholders with more than 475 employees.
The two associations would operate as AgSouth Farm Credit, ACA. The combined Agricultural Credit Association would serve 147 counties in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The headquarters would be located in Statesville, North Carolina.
If approved, the combined Association would be led by current Carolina Farm Credit President and CEO Vance Dalton, who has more than 29 years of Farm Credit leadership experience. AgSouth President and CEO Pat Calhoun, will retire after more than 34 years of Farm Credit service. Calhoun has successfully led AgSouth Farm Credit for the past six years.
According to a Carolina Farm Credit press release, a merger should generate meaningful benefits for the stockholders, agriculture producers and future producers, communities served and employees from both associations. The intended merger is expected to provide more access to specialized lenders to provide the needs and expertise for a diverse market along with more efficiencies through access to increased resources in technology and capital.
No branch office closures or branch staffing changes are anticipated as part of the merger.
Once due diligence is complete, the respective boards will vote on whether to approve a definitive merger agreement and seek to obtain regulatory approval. If regulatory approval is obtained, stockholders will receive a merger disclosure package in early 2023 with a complete description of the merger terms and the board’s reasons for recommending stockholder approval. A stockholder vote would occur afterward, and, if approved, the merger would become effective on April 1, 2023.
AgSouth Farm Credit is an agricultural lending cooperative owned by its borrowers that provides loans for farms, land, equipment and homes. Crop insurance and leasing services are also available.
AgSouth Farm Credit serves over 12,000 members with more than $2.3 billion in gross accruing loans. AgSouth has branches in 59 Georgia counties with branches in Baxley, Blackshear, Carrollton, Douglas, Greenville, Griffin, Jesup, Madison, Statesboro, Sylvania, Thomaston and Vidalia. The association also serves 34 counties in South Carolina with branches in Aiken, Allendale, Anderson, Batesburg, Camden, Laurens, Orangeburg, Rock Hill, Spartanburg, St. Matthews, Summerville and Walterboro.
Carolina Farm Credit is a stockholder-owned cooperative that provides financing to full and part-time farmers, agricultural-related businesses, and for the construction and purchase of homes in 54 counties through 29 branch offices. Appraisal and Leasing services are also available.
Carolina Farm Credit serves more than 12,000 members with more than $1.9 billion in gross accruing loans. The cooperative’s territory covers the western half of North Carolina, with branch offices located in Albemarle, Asheboro, Asheville, Browns Summit, Burnsville, Carthage, Conover, Ellerbe, Graham, Hendersonville, Jefferson, Lenoir, Lexington, Lincolnton, Monroe, Murphy, Pilot Mountain, Roxboro, Rural Hall, Salisbury, Shelby, Siler City, Sparta, Spindale, Statesville, Taylorsville, Wilkesboro, Yadkinville, and Yanceyville.